News Release headerMosquitoes in Perth County Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Perth County – West Nile virus is in Perth County. Mosquitoes taken from a trap in the southeastern part of Mitchell have tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first positive mosquito finding of the season in Perth County.

“Over the past few weeks, West Nile virus activity has been on the rise across Ontario, so it’s not surprising to see positive mosquito pools in Perth County,” says Dale Lyttle, Senior Public Health Inspector. July and August are the times people are most at risk of contracting West Nile Virus.

Mosquito Control Activities

The Health Unit has been trapping and testing mosquitoes since June. As well, one round of larvicide has been applied to roadside catch basins in Stratford, St. Marys, Listowel and Mitchell to help reduce mosquito breeding. A second round of larviciding will be starting shortly.

West Nile Virus in Humans

This year in Ontario, three probable or confirmed human cases of West Nile virus have been reported.

  • Not everyone who is bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms of the virus.
  • Of those who show symptoms, most will experience mild illness, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and rash on chest, stomach or back.
  • About one in 150 people infected will get seriously ill, with symptoms like high fever, muscle weakness, vision loss and coma. West Nile virus can lead to death.
  • Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • People older than 50 are most at risk for West Nile virus infection as are those with weakened immune systems.

Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes

People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Using insect repellent when outdoors; a repellent with N,N-Diethyl-meta-Toluamide (DEET) or Icaridin offers the most effective protection.
  • Covering up with light-colored clothes, long sleeves and pants when outdoors or while in areas where mosquito activity is high.
  • Taking extra protection measures at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Removing standing water around the home at least once a week to reduce mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information call Health Line at 519-271-7600 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 extension 267. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.